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Do I need to detox from alcohol or drugs before entering treatment?

The only way to really know is with a pre-treatment assessment that includes an interview and lab testing.  In general, if you consume alcohol and/or drugs daily, then you will likely benefit from medical detoxification.  Alcohol withdrawals can be deadly and at least very traumatic.  Drug withdrawals, depending on the drug, can cause flu-like symptoms and anxiety.  Even minor withdrawal symptoms can lead to relapse, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Medical detoxification minimizes the physical and emotional pain that accompanies alcohol and drug withdrawal.  Using medications, patients are stabilized and monitored until the body is cleansed of addictive substances.  It is well worth the time invested.

Keith Star
Psychology
You should consult with a medical provider to ascertain if Detox is needed. The most common substances that require Detox are alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines.  Opiates include pain medications, such as Vicodin, as well as street drugs such as heroin.  Benzodiazepines are minor tranquilizers often prescribed for anxiety or sleep, and include Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium.
Fredrick Wade
Addiction Medicine
A screening should be performed when the decision to enter treatment has been arrived at. The purpose of the screening is to perform a needs assessment, which would include things such as the need for detoxification, assessing appropriate levels of care, and assessing for mental health, or primary medical conditions that will require attention upon entering treatment. For those seeking alcohol or drug services, one of the things you should anticipate as a component of entering treatment, is a well-rounded screening process, which helps to inform all initial decisions about the beginning of treatment.
Ken Bachrach
Psychology
You should consult with a medical provider to ascertain if Detox is needed. The most common substances that require Detox are alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines. Opiates include pain medications, such as Vicodin, as well as street drugs such as heroin. Benzodiazepines are minor tranquilizers often prescribed for anxiety or sleep, and include Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium. 
Your best bet is to consult with a medical professional. Withdrawal from some substances, such as opiates, can be very uncomfortable, and there are medical treatments that can help. Withdrawal from other substances, such as alcohol, can be dangerous and requires medical supervision. Other issues, such as a person's age, medical condition, and the amount of substance being used, can also play a role. A qualified medical professional can best advise you if detox services may be needed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.